Products Liability

Every year, thousands of consumers are seriously injured or killed by dangerous or defective products, from faulty lawn mowers to tainted food products. Many of these injuries could have been avoided if manufacturers or sellers had taken additional steps to ensure the safety of these products. Products liability law deals with personal injuries, death, or property damage caused by or resulting from the manufacture, construction, design, formulation, development of standards, preparation, processing, assembly, testing, listing, certifying, warning, instructing, marketing, selling, packaging or labeling of any product.

Although not an insurer of the safety of its products, a manufacturer has a duty to those using its products to exercise reasonable care in the design and manufacture of a product. This duty of reasonable care includes a duty to make reasonable tests and inspections to discover hidden hazards in the use of the product. The manufacturer’s duty of care is commensurate with the degree of danger involved with the product or its use. The more dangerous the product, the higher the degree of care for the manufacturer.

In a case against a manufacturer, the victim must prove the existence of a hidden defect or danger not known to the victim or other users. The North Carolina Products Liability Act governs all claims based on inadequate design and inadequate warning of known dangers.

A retail seller has a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent injury to consumers from a known danger in a product or a dangerous condition that the seller could have discovered by exercising reasonable care. Sellers generally have a duty to inspect and warn if a defect is obvious, if the seller performs some extra function in connection with the sale, such as installation or repair, if the seller makes certain representations regarding the product, if the product is used, or if the seller has actual knowledge of the dangerous nature of the product. If the seller is a “mere conduit” of the product, meaning it purchases a product from a reputable manufacturer and sells the product as is to a consumer, it generally has no duty to inspect or test for hidden defects.

If you or a loved one has sustained serious injuries from the use of a defective or dangerous product, you may have a products liability claim against the manufacturer or seller. Whether dealing with a manufacturing or design defect, or whether a product is unreasonably dangerous because of inadequate warnings or instructions, Hodges Coxe & Potter, LLP has the professional experience to guide you through the complex law of products liability and assist you in obtaining just compensation for your injuries or the death of a loved one.

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Products Liability